Ryan Bridge: Labour's massive U-turn on roading

OPINION: Labour is pulling a massive U-turn on roading and I think they think we are not going to notice. 

But like when someone does an actual U-turn on the motorway, we do notice.

They've spent six years telling us petrol is bad, cars are naughty, motorways are mostly evil, climate change emergency blah blah blah and then yesterday this.

"The proposed road tunnels alongside the bridge are 5km long each. They're similar in concept to the Waterview Tunnels - that's also two three-lane tunnels," Transport Minister David Parker said on Sunday when announcing the Government's plans for a second Auckland harbour crossing. 

Yes, roads. Six new car lanes baby they're coming and they're doing rail as well but guess which one they are building first - the road tunnels.

Right, roads first, cars first, trains second. The Greens are upset and Labour is trying to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds on transport in my view. Listen to their transport guy just two years ago, cancelling the Mill Road highway through south Auckland.

"If we keep doing things as we have done them in the past, we will get the same results," former Transport Minister Michael Wood said. 

So to get different results, he [Wood] announced a gold-plated stand-alone cycle bridge across Auckland's Harbour, no extra car lanes and the price tag was three-quarters of a billion bucks.

"Recognising the need to de-carbonise transport, we've rebalanced the New Zealand upgrade program to increase investment in rail, public transport, walking and cycling," Wood said.   

Walking and cycling were so election 2020 when Labour didn't have to really understand voters, just COVID-19 fear and loathing. 

Now, they're so into motorways. Chippy [Prime Minister Chris Hipkins] might as well start his own brand of chip seal. They bagged Puhoi to Wellsford and then cut the ribbon and they love it. 

It's quite open, honest and transparent to me that this is a Government realising how too far in one direction it took itself while forgetting its backseat passengers - the hard-working Kiwis stuck in traffic who actually vote them into power. 

Ryan Bridge is host of AM.